Government approves A1 service station after fourth appeal in 25 years
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Last updated Apr 13, 2021
The site off the A1 northbound between junctions 48 and 49, where multiple plans for a motorway service station have been submitted.
The site off the A1 northbound between junctions 48 and 49, where multiple plans for a motorway service station have been submitted.

The government has approved a motorway service station on the A1 near Kirby Hill after 25 years of public inquiries and planning battles.

The proposal from Dublin-based company Applegreen will see the service station built between junctions 48 and 49 of the A1(M) northbound, between Boroughbridge and Ripon.

A filling station, hot and cold food outlets, a drive-through coffee shop will be built and 364 car parking spaces created.

However, a separate appeal from Moto Hospitality Ltd for a motorway service station on the A1 near Ripon has been rejected.

In a saga which has spanned a quarter of a century, Applegreen’s application has been before multiple council planning committees, faced four public inquiries and been turned down twice by the Secretary of State and the High Court.

Councillors on Harrogate Borough Council initially rejected the latest plan in 2019, but Applegreen took the decision to an appeal hearing, which was held in February.


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The inquiry, which was held by planning inspector David Rose and streamed onto YouTube, lasted two weeks and included multiple testimonies from residents, campaigners and developer Applegreen.

The motorway service station site, as proposed by Applegreen, on the A1 northbound near Kirby Hill.

The proposed motorway service station site on the A1 northbound near Kirby Hill.

In a decision notice today, Mr Rose said after considering the evidence that the benefits of a service station would outweigh the harm.

He said:

“In summary, considerable weight attaches to the less than substantial harm relative to the identified designated heritage assets. 

“Loss of best and most versatile agricultural land is also a further negative factor of moderate weight. 

“However, individually, and cumulatively, the wider public benefit in meeting the demonstrable need for a motorway service area, for the safety and welfare of motorists, would outweigh that harm.”

Speaking to the Stray Ferret earlier this month, Gareth Owens, chair of the Kirby Hill Residents Against Motorway Services, said the group was prepared to continue to oppose the plan whatever the outcome of the appeal.

 


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